by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The costs of Obamacare and its Biden-era add-ons are becoming intolerable.
When President Barack Obama and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) bent legislative rules to pass Obamacare 13 years ago, critics rightly scoffed at their claims that it would expand access to health insurance and control costs.
Healthcare inflation has continued to raise prices in the rest of the economy, as was always obviously going to be the case despite Democratic falsehoods, and the massive costs to taxpayers also keep growing. The latest numbers on health insurance premiums and dangerous additional levels of government debt condemn both Obamacare and President Joe Biden’s policies that are driven by the same flawed assumptions.
For most people, it is the direct costs of premiums that hit hardest. KFF, a health policy think tank, reports this week that the average cost of employer-based health insurance premiums for family coverage has reached nearly $24,000. That’s 7% more than last year, nearly doubling the broader inflation rate.
Insurers typically pick up 25%-38% of those costs, which means even families with generous employers are paying 62%, or about $15,000 a year, out of pocket. For single coverage, the average premium rose to $8,435, also 7% up from 2022 and nearly three times as much as in 2013. If individual premiums had risen at the same rate as overall inflation, those costs would only be about half as high.
Almost 153 million people depend on employer-sponsored healthcare coverage.
“It’s just an incredible amount of money to spend on health insurance every year,” said KFF’s Matthew Rae, who co-authored the report.
A big driver of costs, under Obamacare as a whole and due to Biden’s regulations, is the nearly indiscriminate use of government subsidies. Biden keeps trying to force unnecessary coverage onto people who don’t want or need it, such as requiring elderly men to buy insurance that covers pregnancy services. Both Obama and Biden ration the supply of care by deterring innovation that otherwise would occur through research and development.